Parents of slain pregnant Brown County mom say they're not giving up hope despite no leads

Aubree Stykes out of hospital after complications

GEORGETOWN, Ohio -- A month ago, Mary and Dave Dodson lost their oldest daughter and their unborn grandchild -- and they still don't know why. 

"This was pure evil whoever did this,” Mary told 9 On Your Side Monday. “I have to know who and why because…it's not going to give me closure but it might give me peace of mind."

On the night of Aug. 28, the Dodsons were waiting for their daughter Brittany Stykes to arrive at their home in Ripley -- but she never made it.

Later that night, the 22-year-old was found shot to death in her Jeep off U.S. Route 68, just three miles away.

Mary and Dave have no theories, no suspects, no guesses. 

"Everything has crossed my mind. I really don't know,” Mary Dodson said. “All I know is if anybody out there does know something, has seen something, please come forward. I'm a mother and I need to know. I need to know."

Brittany’s toddler-aged daughter Aubree was also found in the vehicle the night of the shooting, and suffered a gunshot wound to her head. Just 14 months old at the time, Aubree managed to survive and was treated and released from Cincinnati Children's Hospital.

But this past weekend, Aubree experienced complications and was re-admitted to the hospital for emergency surgery . Despite the setback in her recovery, she was able to return home to her father Shane Stykes Monday night.

Mary said Aubree is healing and hasn’t lost her spirit.

“She's herself. She says 'maw maw' and 'paw paw' all day long,” Mary said. “We hear it all the time when we go see her.”

The Dodsons say Aubree and Brittany weren’t the only victims the night of the shooting. When Brittany died, she was five months pregnant.

“Her and I had just been to a doctors appointment and got to hear the heartbeat and everything,” Mary said. “At the next appointment we were going to get to know if it was a boy or a girl. That makes it very hard knowing I'm never going to get to hold that baby. Not until I get to heaven some day.”

Mary Dodson said she doesn’t know if the person responsible for Brittany’s death knew her.

In fact, she doesn’t think the shooting had anything to do with Brittany.

“Brittany was 22-years-old. She was innocent," she said. "She was a girl who had not traveled, had not been anywhere off the farm. She was here every day. This was her life. Family was her life." 

The Brown County Sheriff's Office ruled out Brittany's husband Shane Stykes as a suspect.

And more than a month since Brittany’s death, investigators say they still have no person of interest and no motive.

But Mary says she’s not giving up on learning the truth.

"I have to have hope,” she said. “I have to have hope that (police) do. I've talked to them and they're wonderful people and I do hope. I do hope. I have to know."

If you have any information about this case, the Brown County Sheriff's Office asks that you call 937-378-4435.

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